The 19th Amendment Did Not Affect All Women

The 19th Amendment Did Not Affect All Women

The fight for Voting Rights across the country is still a struggle.
18713
views

It’s a fact we’ve learned to regurgitate; in the year 1920, the 19th Amendment was ratified. It prohibited any United States citizen from being denied the right to vote on account of their gender. It's been hailed as the one of the greatest, if the not the greatest achievement for our country's women's rights movement.

What we don’t hear, is that two years after this amendment was passed, the Supreme Court ruled people of Japanese heritage were ineligible to become naturalized citizens -- a court found the same with Asian Indians in the following year. Not being able to become naturalized citizens, of course, affected what demographic of women could actually vote. In 1924, Native Americans were granted citizenship through the Indian Citizenship Act, but many states still passed laws preventing Native Americans from voting, for as late as the year 1957.

It wasn’t until 1943 that Chinese Americans were first permitted to become citizens, after the Chinese Exclusion Act was repealed. For Filipinos, it wasn’t until 1946; for Japanese Americans and other Asian Americans, this did not come until 1952. In 1964, women of lower socio-economic status were faced with one less barrier to voting; there was now no tax to pay anywhere in the country in order to vote.

In 1965, the Voting Rights Act was passed abolishing legal barriers that prevented black Americans from voting. In 1990, polling centers were required to have accommodations for Americans with disabilities with the Americans with Disabilities Act. In the year 2000, a federal court decided US Territories could not vote in presidential elections. The fight for Voting Rights across the country is still a struggle; in this month, alone, a federal appeals court struck down a voter ID law in North Carolina that was described as targeting African American voters "with almost surgical precision."

Why is it, then, that we accept the 19th Amendment as being the point when women were allowed the right to vote? It's presented in our history classes, our media, etc., as if the struggle to get women to vote ended with the passing of this amendment to the Constitution, which is simply not true. To state so would be to exclude essentially all women of color, among white women who couldn't afford to pay a poll tax.

Some could argue there’s exceptions to every fact and law in our history, but it’s not as if one specific group of women were an exception to this. Asian women, Native American women, black women, poor women and more were unable to exercise their right to vote, and their struggles have been arguably erased in the acceptation of the 19th Amendment being the point in which all women could vote.

When we use the word women, we assume it applies to women of every race and ethnicity; instead, it’s been reduced to mean only white women. When we say women earned the right to vote in 1920, we're whitewashing history. To be fair, we have no reason to not pause and think if this is a whitewashing of history, because of the pure lack of information on voting rights of marginalized and minority groups in our country.

Often, high school American history classes have been dubbed as being a history of "great white men." It's not hard to picture the only real segment of women's history taught in most history classes really only applies to that of "great white women." It shouldn’t be surprising that we’ve been conditioned to accept the notion that saying women got the right to vote in 1920 as appropriate, because of how our history is often taught to us.

Recently, with the recognition of white feminism becoming slowly more prevalent in our country's society, it’s important for us as a people to not portray women’s struggles as merely white women’s struggles. It's more than frustrating to see our politicians, socially-conscious celebrities, and other prominent figures speak as if the 19th Amendment was the end of women's struggle for voting rights. It's easy to accept the erasing of the history. After all, most people were taught a history that erased struggles of marginalized groups. It’s harder to try to write history back into a place it deserves to be. Women worked hard for the 19th Amendment to be ratified. It's time to recognize women that also worked hard for their own voting struggles, long after the 19th Amendment was ratified.

Cover Image Credit: Bio.

Popular Right Now

I'm The Girl Without A 'Friend Group'

And here's why I'm OK with it

885593
views

Little things remind me all the time.

For example, I'll be sitting in the lounge with the people on my floor, just talking about how everyone's days went. Someone will turn to someone else and ask something along the lines of, "When are we going to so-and-so's place tonight?" Sometimes it'll even be, "Are you ready to go to so-and-so's place now? Okay, we'll see you later, Taylor!"

It's little things like that, little things that remind me I don't have a "friend group." And it's been like that forever. I don't have the same people to keep me company 24 hours of the day, the same people to do absolutely everything with, and the same people to cling to like glue. I don't have a whole cast of characters to entertain me and care for me and support me. Sometimes, especially when it feels obvious to me, not having a "friend group" makes me feel like a waste of space. If I don't have more friends than I can count, what's the point in trying to make friends at all?

I can tell you that there is a point. As a matter of fact, just because I don't have a close-knit clique doesn't mean I don't have any friends. The friends I have come from all different walks of life, some are from my town back home and some are from across the country. I've known some of my friends for years, and others I've only known for a few months. It doesn't really matter where they come from, though. What matters is that the friends I have all entertain me, care for me, and support me. Just because I'm not in that "friend group" with all of them together doesn't mean that we can't be friends to each other.

Still, I hate avoiding sticking myself in a box, and I'm not afraid to seek out friendships. I've noticed that a lot of the people I see who consider themselves to be in a "friend group" don't really venture outside the pack very often. I've never had a pack to venture outside of, so I don't mind reaching out to new people whenever.

I'm not going to lie, when I hear people talking about all the fun they're going to have with their "friend group" over the weekend, part of me wishes I could be included in something like that. I do sometimes want to have the personality type that allows me to mesh perfectly into a clique. I couldn't tell you what it is about me, but there is some part of me that just happens to function better one-on-one with people.

I hated it all my life up until very recently, and that's because I've finally learned that not having a "friend group" is never going to be the same as not having friends.

SEE ALSO: To The Girls Who Float Between Friend Groups

Cover Image Credit: wordpress.com

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

As A Cardinals Fan, I Let Albert Pujols Go A LONG Time Ago

They say time heals all wounds, but is that the case with St. Louis Cardinals fans and Albert Pujols?

29
views

It's hard to properly encapsulate what Albert Pujols meant to the city of St. Louis. He's without a doubt in my mind, statistically, one of the greatest Cardinals players of all time right up there with names like Bob Gibson, Ozzie Smith, and Stan Musial. His list of accolades in a Cardinals uniform is borderline unbelievable: Rookie of the year in 2001, 9x All-Star (8 consecutive from 2003-2010), 3x MVP, 6x Silver Slugger and 2x Gold Glove winner. Not to mention, he was an integral piece of two World Series victories in 2006 and 2011. The recipe was right there to continue his career as a Cardinal and retire an immortalized legend, but things somehow took a turn for the worst after the 2011 World Series.

Pujols was up for free agency in 2012, and even though the city was celebrating its 11th World Series title (second-most of all time) but the future of the team was in the back of everyone's mind. For context, Cardinals Manager and 3x World Series Champion Tony La Rusa announced his retirement in early November, just days after the victory parade.

Nearly a month later, Pujols announces that he decided to sign with the Los Angeles Angels for a record-breaking 10-year, $254 million contract. To say Cardinals fans were perplexed and shocked is an understatement. What could the Angels offer that St. Louis couldn't aside from more money and better weather, especially coming off of a World Series win? Regardless, the Cardinals never seized on the opportunity to sign Pujols to a contract extension, a mistake they didn't want to repeat with newly-acquired superstar Paul Goldschmidt.

I think what hurt most about Pujols leaving St. Louis as he was a Cardinals-bred player through and through. He was drafted in the 13th round out of the 1999 Amateur Draft by the Cardinals before making his MLB debut in 2001. That's been the Cardinal manifesto for nearly the entire Modern Era: draft or acquire young Minor League talent, develop them before implementing them into the Major League system. It felt downright hurtful that Pujols would opt for the bright lights of Los Angeles over a city that had every intention of supporting him

But with most things, time passed and Pujols eventually became a peripheral point for Cardinals fans like myself who would briefly re-enter their lives on the occasional article or ESPN highlight. So when it was revealed that the Angels will be playing the Cardinals in June at Busch for the first time since Pujols left, he was suddenly back on every Cardinals fan's radar again.

So Angels and Cardinals media outlets were abuzz, prompting this interview with Graham Bensinger during Spring Training and the way Pujols frames the negotiations were really peculiar to me. He said he didn't feel truly wanted by the franchise, but we'll never know the whole truth unless we were actually there. I do know one thing though, every Cardinals fan wanted Pujols to be a Cardinal for life and he would have gone down as one of the greats without a doubt in anyone's mind. He spent his best years in St. Louis though and helped bring us two World Series' and for that, I'll always be grateful.

Related Content

Facebook Comments